|Thesis abstract: |
A growing interest in novel techniques of measurement and diagnostic instruments has recently concerned the field of human health and life sciences, in order to obtain new types of analysis with improved performances. Among these, Time Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) has reached a considerable importance and a great deal of techniques have been developed based on it, such as Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM), Optical Tomography and Time-Resolved Laser Scanning Microscopy. New improvements in the TCSPC technique allow it to be applied to multidimensional measurements and this consequently requires the development of new detector arrays with high photon detection efficiency, low dark counting rate and afterpulsing, low optical and electrical crosstalk and high timing performances. The aim of this thesis is to realize an array of Single Photon Detector suitable for parallel photon timing applications exploiting the characteristics of Single Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADs), which have emerged has a solid state alternative to Photomultiplier Tubes (PMT) since they present remarkable advantages such as: low cost, integrability, low power dissipation and higher quantum efficiency. In particular, the key idea is to produce a monolithic system, with the front-end electronic integrated close to the detector, in order to achieve both high timing performances and low electric couplings between the adjacent channels. The development of this work is also connected to the European project called ¿Parafluo¿ (Parallel Fluorescence).